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Best indoor mic for under $1,000?
  • 116 Replies sorted by
  • Vitaliy_Kiselev August 2013

    VK that $40 ISK CM-20C hyper cardioid mic is a very good mic, my SennHeiser K6 is now in the bottom draw. No internal battery, but works excellent on 48v phantom power. Nice rich tone for voice and very low noise, actually it's the quietest mic I own and good sensitivity.

    Glad that you like it. In fact it is very little known mike. Most go to Oktava. Hope that more guys start to use it with time.

    @Vitaliy_Kiselev VK, all the interview audio in this outdoor video was recorded with that $40 ISK CM-20C hyper cardioid mic you recommended above ( except for the 2 women at the beginning they were Zoom H1 internal mic ) its quite good at rejecting background noise of noisy beach locations even with the mic 2ft from the speakers mouth. ( all video was shot on GH1)

  • @Rambo Amazing how good that audio sounds plus only $40. Can that mic plug into a GH2 directly or does it need to go into a recorder? Video very cool as well.

  • It can plug into GH2 direct with xlr-3.5 cable ( but needs a phantom power supply) or as I did above into XLR connections on a H4n with its phantom power. I'm not sure why but this mic with the H4n bottom XLR connections results in surprisingly quiet preamp noise from the H4n even when set to 100% level.

    This next video was the day before, same camera/mic.

  • Thanks. Great setup with that cam and mic.

  • I bought a couple used beyer dynamic mce 86 version 1 mics months ago for ~150$$.. I like their sound pickup as it's flat, but they have a hiss, which seems to be common to the beyer mics.. any ideas as to how to remove the hiss? Check any of the MCE 86 vids and it is evident

  • There are ways to reduce the hiss, but the easiest and best way is to buy a quiet mic.

  • Has anybody tried the



    I'm looking to replace my MXL FR-300.

    I have one MXL FR-300 which is a very good (sensitive) mic, but I also have one FR-300 that is faulty (loud hiss). The FR-300 is no longer available and the followup FR-333M is not available yet.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev About ISK CM-20. Should I choose the Cardioid one over the super Cardioid one for indoor dialogue?? They have both version.

  • If its background rejection you're after I would go with the Super Cardioid, as you can hear in the 2 videos I posted above the sounds of the ocean and beach are very much in the background considering the mic is 18-24 inches from the talents mouth.

  • I heard this mic is one of the best price/quality for indoors.

    maybe @Vitaliy can get us a deal on this Mic.

  • Ordered one of the ISK mics. Will test and report back once I receive it. I liked the background rejection on the beachs shot in @Rambo 's videos. I want to test in urban environment to see how well it blocks out traffic and general din of busy areas.

  • I just ordered the ISK super cardioid too. Look forward to see its performance.

  • @matt_gh2 Be aware that shotgun mics don't block sounds per se but rather are very directional and so much more sensitive to sounds approaching the capsule from a particular direction - it won't magically make undesirable background sounds disappear since a lot of the time those sounds are reflections approaching the mic from the direction it's pointing at. A small exercise that will help you manage expectations regarding recording in urban areas is to block one ear, cup the other and point it in the direction of the sound you want to pick up. If you are still hearing traffic/background/fridge/fan, etc... I guarantee your boom mic will pick it up; if the offending sound is as loud as the talent's voice, expect the same in your recording. An important thing to remember is that the closer the mic is to the source, the louder that source will be in your recording relative to ambient sounds. Second thing to remember is that shotguns are also sensitive to sounds approaching them directly from the rear so mic placement is very important. Since a shotgun's greatest rejection occurs from the sides (and that's dependant on frequency) its usually best to have the mic pointing down towards the source you want to record. All very general info but important to understand to get the most from your gear.

  • I just ordered 2 of them ... we shall see :)

  • I ordered the ISK from the Swamp Industries website and it arrived today only 10 days later. Not bad from Australia to east coast US. Will test over next few days and report back.

  • My personal favorite is the AKG 414: (1) One mic 9 patterns and the selection is just a push button. Nothing is more convenient; (2) Audio quality is also up there, with very quiet self noise. Also it has very high tolerance for clipping/high sound pressure.

    While there are higher priced mics, for my purposes it is good enough. And for demanding recording situations such as recording concerts and/or grand pianos, the quality and convenience just can't be beat.

  • The only drawback of the AKG 414 is its relatively large size and weight. For on-camera mic, I have tried many. While most, if not all, are good enough for voice/speech, some are not suitable for musical instruments. And the best all around on-camera mic for my purposes is the M-Audio Pulsar II. Small and light weight, only ~$275 a pair, but its audio quality is very good in most recording situations

  • Have any of you who have recently ordered the ISK CM20C mics had a chance to try them out yet?

  • I have the ISK CM20C coming from Australia, but in the mean time I got my hands on a Sennheiser ME80 short shotgun capsule with a K3U power supply unit from eBay, and it isn't too bad, even boomed in my basement "studio." While the sound quality is pretty nice on phantom power, the sound rejection from the side is only ok by my newbie estimation. At any rate, it's a lot better than a video mic pro on the camera, and about 100x better than my $15 chinese shotgun from eBay, which seemed exactly like a Nady SGM-12 I tried out for about two minutes before I returned it -- JUNK. :)

  • Has anyone tried out their recently purchased CM20C mics? Mine is en route I guess, I'm champing at the bit to get it in my hands and try it!

  • I was away from home for a few days on a family vacation. Upon return home I had a nice surprise of both an RJ lens turbo and an ISK CM20C waiting for me. The RJ Lens Turbo was an extra nice surprise, since it has initially exceeded my expectations! :)

    When I went to trying out my CM20C, I started in my basement studio by taking a comparison clip with my Sennheiser ME80 vintage shotgun boomed overhead, and phantom powered with 48V from the iRig Pre. Then I switched to the CM20C, dialed in the preamp a little bit real quick and hit record. It sounded pretty good for about 8 seconds, and then died off over the next 10 or 15 seconds to where there is almost nothing recorded...

    I've switched back and forth a few times to ensure that it's the mic, and it sure seems to be dead. Must be a I got a dud, huh? Or maybe I am messing something up? That may be more likely! Lol

    On the up side, I got my $13 eBay "EM-320a shotgun" dialed in a bit better to where I can actually get some usable sound from it. It's a bit tinny and not what I would call "good quality sound," but it is a lot better than what I have gotten from some other mics in the past... I'd even say that with it boomed above and dialed in, it is probably a bit better sound than the Rode VMP on the camera at 10 feet away, which is too far away from the audio source for that mic in some circumstances at least.

    Has anyone else tried their CM20Cs? I know there was at least one other person in this thread who had initially had problems with their first CM20C, and maybe there is a common misuse with these mics that I might have done...? After all, I am pretty new to phantom powered mics.

  • Has anyone else tried their CM20Cs?

    In such cases best idea is to contact seller, not to write on forums asking "if someone has same thing" :-)

    Also check voltage and behavior of iRig Pre, thing is cheap and make sure that it output proper voltage with proper method.

  • I will definitely contact them if the fault of the problem isn't mine! Lol :) I will edit my post to be more clear on that point.

    Your suggestion on checking the voltage from the iRig Pre is exactly why I was asking if someone had the same problem though. If they had and it was because of a problem with phantom power voltage or something, I wanted to erase any of those possible issues that would be my fault.

    To check that, I guess I should be able to check voltage across two of the XLR connector pins? I'm not exactly sure how the phantom power gets to the mic...